WASHINGTON – A District of Columbia firefighter is being praised as a hero after he climbed a ladder to a burning third-floor apartment and shared his breathing mask with a trapped 65-year-old woman until she could be rescued.
Phyllis Terrell told authorities she was preparing to jump from her southeast Washington apartment Wednesday afternoon when firefighter Danny Lovato, an 11-year veteran, grabbed a ladder and threw it against the wall to reach her. Lovato removed his mask and shared air from his tank with Terrell until other firefighters could reach her from the inside.
Both are being treated for smoke inhalation. Terrell was listed in serious condition Thursday, while Lovato was listed in fair condition.
Firefighters union president Ed Smith told The Washington Post, "He took a beating to protect that woman."